Podcast: Meir Soloveichik on King David

Podcast: Meir Soloveichik on King David

In 2010, the theologian Michael Wyschograd published “A King in Israel,” a provocative essay in which he argues for defining the Jewish State as a democratic, constitutional monarchy. Wyschograd proposes that, without changing anything about the functioning of the Israeli government, the president of the state be given the title, “Regent of the Throne of David”—reconstituting the third Jewish commonwealth as a Davidic monarchy without a reigning king.

This idea may seem fantastical, and it was given very little attention at the time. But in this podcast, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik joins Tikvah Executive Director Eric Cohen to explore the theology behind Wyschograd’s argument, precedents from modern constitutional history, and the political ramifications of monarchy. Using Soloveichik’s essay on “King David” as a starting point, Cohen and Soloveichik explore Judaism’s complex approach to kingship, the meaning of the Davidic dynasty, and the spiritual power that resides in a properly constituted Jewish polity.

Courtesy of Pro Musica Hebraica, musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim, and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

2 thoughts on “Podcast: Meir Soloveichik on King David

  1. David was told that because he shed much blood he would not build the Temple but his son would build it. David was perfect in all his ways; except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite, who should have been tried by the Sanhedrin [for rebellion against the king’s order] rather than put to death by military intrigue. Hittites were one of the Seven Nations Jews are prohibited from making a covenant with or giving sons and daughters [Bath Sheva] in marriage to; so David was technically permitted to have him slain by military intrigue…. David repented and acknowleged G-D’s Might – that everything comes from HaShem: “Both riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler over all. Power and might are in Your hand, and it is in Your hand to exalt and to give strength to all.” 1 Chronicles 29:12

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